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EEOC Announces Final Rule on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)

EEOC Announces Final Rule on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)

On April 15, 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a final rule on The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). 



What Is the PWFA?

As it stands, the PWFA, which went into effect on June 27, 2023, applies to most employers with 15 or more employees and requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for employees with mental or physical limitations related to pregnancy or childbirth, unless the employer can prove that providing such accommodation would be an “undue hardship”.  

PWFA deems certain practices unlawful, including the following: 

  • Not making reasonable accommodations for qualified employees experiencing conditions like pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions

  • Forcing employees to accept an accommodation that is not reasonable 

  • Denying employment opportunities to qualified employees because you know they may need accommodations

  • Requiring employees to take paid or unpaid leave to avoid providing reasonable accommodation

  • Taking any adverse action against an employee who requests reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy-related reason or medical condition 


EEOC’s Final Rule on the PWFA

According to the EEOC, the final rule or regulation provides clarity to employers and workers on the following questions: 

  • Who is covered under the PWFA?

  • What are the types of limitations and medical conditions covered under the PWFA?

  • How can individuals request reasonable accommodations under PWFA?

The final rule also includes:

  • Concrete examples of reasonable accommodations for employers to refer to when making decisions related to the PWFA.

  • Clarification and guidance on employee rights under PWFA if they experience miscarriage or stillbirth. 

  • Guidance on limitations and medical conditions that qualify an employee for reasonable accommodation. The new rule lists “abortion” as a qualifying medical condition. 

  • Guidance on timeliness and systemizing requests for reasonable accommodation.  

  • Definition of “undue hardship” under PWFA.

  • Other important clarifications. 

The Federal Register will publish the final rule on April 19, 2024, and it will become effective 60 days later. 

For more information, check out the EEOC’s press release.


Other Considerations for Workers Affected by Pregnancy or Related Conditions

It’s important to keep in mind that the DOL and the EEOC also enforce other laws that protect pregnant people and those affected by childbirth or related mental or physical conditions. 

These include the following: 


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up to date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news

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  • Resource Library—essential guides covering a comprehensive list of HR topics

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

  • Community—the HR Party of One Community forum, a place devoted to HR professionals to ask questions, learn more, and help others

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